IT security and COVID-19
At first glance one should not think that the two things have much to do with each other, but unfortunately you see many examples of upheavals and confusion leading to decisions that are not always well thought out, and unfortunately there are some who do a business out of leverage.
Here, we will share a few simple precautions you can take if you are one of those currently stranded in your home office.
Do not let yourself be stressed
This is perhaps the most important thing. And of course, it’s easier said than done if restless children run around your legs while you – between Teams meetings, half cups of cold coffee, liver pate snacks and laundry – try to plow through the rapidly growing inbox of mails. But for most, and especially for the time being, there will be full understanding of a slightly extended reaction time.
So when an email arrives from the boss that funds must be transferred to an account in Switzerland as soon as possible, or when a message arrives from the National Board of Health that there is a new “Digital Post” you, remember to take it easy and ask yourself if this would be normal if there was no corona crisis. If the answer is anything other than a clear and unambiguous “YES”, Then it is probably worth hesitating to know. Call the boss and ask if he really sent that email. Take an extra look at the message from the National Board of Health and consider how often authorities otherwise contact you via SMS.
Work computer for work
Often, private computers are not at a security level that matches that of the workplace, and they are often used by multiple people as well. Then suddenly it is not only your own doings and barn that can affect the rest of the workplace, but also your family.
If at all possible, avoid using your personal computer for work and your work computer for private chores.
Use official websites
There are many – really many – websites that offer information about COVID-19, and not all of them are completely harmless. Cyber criminals are not pale in exploiting fear and confusion to get people to do things they otherwise would not normally do. Likewise, programs are also distributed that are supposed to provide live tracking of COVID-19 infection, but instead encrypt and lock your phone or computer and require ransom to decrypt them, or they are used to spread malware.
Instead, navigate to official and reliable websites such as:
Be wary of (unknown) senders
Most people are probably already well aware that you have to be vigilant if you receive an email or SMS from an unknown sender who wants someone to click on a link or provide information such as credit card information, etc. This is now even more true as you see an increasing number of phishing attacks and malicious attachments in countries hard hit by corona virus, but unfortunately it may also be necessary to be on guard against seemingly familiar senders, as it is not particularly difficult to make an email look as if it is from someone else. It’s also not difficult to get a well-known link to point elsewhere:
If a colleague asks for something just a little unusual or attaches something unexpected, remember – as mentioned first – that you do not have to stress and then turn it around with them once over the phone (or how you now communicate) before you do anything with the suspicious email. If it really could not wait half an hour, then they would probably have called you instead of sending an email.
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